ImmerseMessiah NLT - Page 150


do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So
I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline
my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear
that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.
I don’t want you to forget, dear brothers and sisters, about our ancestors
in the wilderness long ago. All of them were guided by a cloud that moved
ahead of them, and all of them walked through the sea on dry ground. In
the cloud and in the sea, all of them were baptized as followers of Moses.
All of them ate the same spiritual food, and all of them drank the same
spiritual water. For they drank from the spiritual rock that traveled with
them, and that rock was Christ. Yet God was not pleased with most of
them, and their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.
These things happened as a warning to us, so that we would not crave
evil things as they did, or worship idols as some of them did. As the Scriptures say, “The people celebrated with feasting and drinking, and they indulged in pagan revelry.” And we must not engage in sexual immorality as
some of them did, causing 23,000 of them to die in one day.
Nor should we put Christ to the test, as some of them did and then
died from snakebites. And don’t grumble as some of them did, and then
were destroyed by the angel of death. These things happened to them as
examples for us. They were written down to warn us who live at the end
of the age.
If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall. The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God
is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can
stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you
can endure.
So, my dear friends, flee from the worship of idols. You are reasonable
people. Decide for yourselves if what I am saying is true. When we bless
the cup at the Lord’s Table, aren’t we sharing in the blood of Christ? And
when we break the bread, aren’t we sharing in the body of Christ? And
though we are many, we all eat from one loaf of bread, showing that we are
one body. Think about the people of Israel. Weren’t they united by eating
the sacrifices at the altar?
What am I trying to say? Am I saying that food offered to idols has some
significance, or that idols are real gods? No, not at all. I am saying that
these sacrifices are offered to demons, not to God. And I don’t want you to
participate with demons. You cannot drink from the cup of the Lord and
from the cup of demons, too. You cannot eat at the Lord’s Table and at the
table of demons, too. What? Do we dare to rouse the Lord’s jealousy? Do
you think we are stronger than he is?

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